September 22, 2021

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Top and flop: Who are the winners and losers of the Vuelta?  |  Vuelta

Top and flop: Who are the winners and losers of the Vuelta? | Vuelta

The Vuelta a España is in the books. Primoz Roglic dominated this Vuelta town from start to finish, but the Slovenian wasn’t the only staple in the suit. And where there is brilliance, there is also failure. See an overview of the highlights and disappointments of the 76 Vuelta here.

1. The endless barrel of Primoz Roglic

For the third year in a row, Primoz Roglic leads the Vuelta podium. The 31-year-old Slovenian didn’t steal his overall victory this year, after a summer in which the Tour was a bluff, Tokyo was the bull’s-eye and the physical and mental tank seemed to have no bottom.

He put everyone in their place on opening day in Burgos, handed out red gifts to Ren Tarama, Kenny Elesundi and Odd Christian Eking after winning the trial, and scored another victory on another stage in Valdepeñas de Jaen and at no point lost control. Steering wheel.

The multi-skilled player eventually put everyone in checkmate at Lagos de Covadonga and there in Asturias he proved, thanks to a duo with Egan Bernal, that a long and daring attack is also part of his wide range. Yesterday he once again confirmed his supremacy in the last trial by winning the fourth stage.

2. Alpecin-Fenix ​​also won the Vuelta a España

At Alpecin-Fenix, there was no theatrical horror this year. The debutante won at the highest level entering the Giro, had an opening week on the Tour to dream about and wasn’t stuffing the peloton in the Vuelta either.

On the contrary: Jasper Philipsen won two stages and seemed ripe for more, until physical complaints forced him to give up.

But the excellent performances by Guy Fine and Floris de Terre, among others, once again confirm that the team of the Rodhoft brothers should not be widely underestimated.

Watch Philipsen’s second sprint victory at the Vuelta:

3. Fabio Jacobsen is old again

Anyone who would have said a year ago that Fabio Jacobsen (25) would win three stages at the 2021 Vuelta would have likely been laughed at.

But today – exactly 13 months after his fall in Poland – Jacobsen is back in the Netherlands with three stages and victories in the Green Points jersey.

The future is smiling at Jacobsen, who, with a worry-free winter, could take his place as emperor of the sprint sprint – he seemed to claim until that fateful day in Poland – in 2022 with both hands.

4. Red glasses from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert

On the tour, the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert may have been the wildest, much to the frustration of sporting director Hilaire Van der Schueren. But the gray round was completely wiped out by the hugely successful Vuelta a España.

On the third day, Rein Taaramäe awarded Belgium’s WorldTour team a glorious win at Picon Blanco with the red jersey as a bonus. He lost it two days later due to misfortune, but in the second week, Odd Christian Eiking was his successor.

The Norwegian sang it for a week until the car drove to Lagos de Covadonga. Moderate second week played in his hands, but the boys from sports director Valerio Piva in no way skipped the basket.

Collectively they made an impression in the mountains, although the mission after the fall of Louis Meintjes – at the time 10th in the standings – was a disgrace on the path to success. It’s a complete feat that now requires confirmation.

Odd Christian Eiking wore the red shirt for a week.

5. DSM is finally back in touch with the 2020 Sunweb story

In 2020, every cycling aficionado was enchanted by Sunweb’s approach to the Tour, every day being attacked with an open mind and where Mark Hershey and Soren Craig Andersen were the finishers.

A year later, the entire house seemed to have collapsed, as the DSM no longer swayed the butter can and only made the news with questionable stories of grumbling riders and internal struggles.

This economic downturn on Spanish soil ended. Two-stage winner Michael Storer is one of the Vuelta finds, and Romain Bardet also contributed to the stage win. DSM colored nearly every attack and was also rewarded with a mountain jersey.

Michael Storer won two stages, but left DSM at Groupama-FDJ.

6. Magnus Kurt Nielsen and the owner of the Trident

Magnus Cort Nielsen’s jersey number deserves a fluorescent color every round, but on this version there’s also an exclamation point behind it. Dane is one of the colorful characters in Vuelta with no less than 3 winning stages.

In the first week Primoz stopped Roglic violent with stunt work, in the second week he was the fastest among the weak peloton and in the last week he was the coolest group leader so strong he even missed time on the test win. in Santiago de Compostela.

If Cort Nielsen also allows these abilities to pay off in a day’s work, the 28-year-old Dane will have great years ahead. Why not organize the first test on September 26, as one of the main pillars of Denmark’s strong selection for the World Cup?

Watch Magnus Cort Nielsen’s third stage win at the Vuelta:

1. Movistar springs like a watering can again

They’ve been carrying a dubious reputation with them for a while, Movistar’s diverse crew, but what happened Saturday at this Vuelta tail defies all imagination.

Miguel Angel Lopez gave Vuelta’s ‘Local Team’ Thursday with his Queen stage win some color and with Enrique Mas and Lopez himself on the podium – so were the cards at the last weekend’s cut – Movistar didn’t have it all in everything. can grumble.

But then the charade followed that grueling Saturday ride…after Lopez succumbed to many fives and sixes, a lack of gratitude and respect for his teammates, sponsors and organizer.

Lopez himself – albeit in a statement directed by his team – wore robes, but his entourage made it clear that his team management had abandoned Lopez. He is said to have received a ban from sporting director Eusebio Onzue for chasing the group with Primus Roglic and teammate Enrique Mas.

The truth may be somewhere in the middle, but after previous disagreements with Nairo Quintana and Richard Carapaz, it shows once again that the (shadow) leaders of South America and Movistar do not always speak the same language. This story only counts the losers, except for viewers of the next Movistar series on Netflix.

2. Is Ineos still aware of its own tactical plans?

Ineos Grenadiers is another such team that this winter could mirror what the big tours delivered in 2021.

Giro was a top pilot thanks to Egan Bernal, in the Tour Richard Carabaz managed to polish the Reindeer with his third place, but in the Vuelta Ineos Grenadiers once again it fell well short of expectations.

Adam Yates spent an entire season at the Vuelta, but at no point did he give the impression that he was a legend of the group. Egan Bernal gave the last week some color, but then inadvertently became the bill kid after Saturday’s scene.

The leaders didn’t have the legs they had hoped for, but it seemed that Eneos had completely lost control of tactical chess.

The death of sporting director and strategist Nicholas Portal in March 2020 still appears to have not been resolved internally. Also add the exhausted Richard Karabaz and Tom Bedcock and there’s also a red number in the report.

Creepy faces in Ineos.

3. Mikkel Landa: Beauty can’t buy you anything

Bahrain-Victorius roamed around Spain for 3 weeks with a very strong mass. This proves the victory in the team classification, the victory of Damiano Caruso on the stage, the third place for Jacques Haig, the fifth place for Gino Mader and the white jersey of the Swiss flag.

Bahrain-Victorious was omnipresent, especially in the later mountain stages, but leader Mikkel Landa – or it was on paper – once again became a poorer delusion.

After a hard hit in the Giro, it was a race against time to get fit in the Vuelta, but his overall victory in the Tour of Burgos a week before the Vuelta a España made the best impression.

It was a futile hope, because from day one Landa had been the tastemaker he was usually supposed to be. The mystery has disappeared like a thief in the night from the Vuelta and at the age of 31 cannot get rid of the stamp of eternal promise.

Mikel Landa is back in Spain.

4. Arnaud Demarie: 2020 and 2021 is a different world

The contrast with last year’s Giro couldn’t be greater: in Italy Arnaud Démare was Lord and Master with 4 sprint wins in October 2020, but at Vuelta the 30-year-old Frenchman was always standing in front of a closed door.

His friends from Groupama-FDJ did not play hide-and-seek and used every runner’s chance, but the leader failed over and over again.

In your 30s, a crisis of confidence lies just around the corner. Demir has won eight races this year, but all have been at a lower level. After he retired to the Tour, the Vuelta is also a big ride to quickly forget.

5. Michael Matthews: Same sheet pants

His counterpart Michael Matthews can also join the Thinking class. On the big tour, the Australian is one of the contenders for the majority of the stages, but last year’s torch is now just a tea light.

Matthews, who seemed to break free from Sunweb/DSM and reverted to his old love of BikeExchange, was already limited to places of honor at the Tour de France and also at the Vuelta was no exception.

His BikeExchange buddies have been doing their best to roll out the red carpet in the past few weeks, but 3, 5, 6, 7, 3 and 4, that’s the new normal for Matthews.

His last victory dates back to August 25, 2020. On September 26, he will extinguish 31 candles. Should we put an asterisk behind his name on his birthday and also on World Cup day?

Michael Matthews has been chasing a win for over a year.

6. The Queen was just a princess

The Vuelta regulation comes with a discovery almost every year and this year the Alto de Gamoniteiro should have been the revelation.

The ruthless colonel of Asturias was announced to be Angliru’s brother and was supposed to be the top of the Queen stage last Thursday, but that stage gave birth to a mouse.

Perhaps course designers should conclude that there are limits and that more altimeters and staggering poles sometimes do more (theatrical) track damage than good. Let the exciting penultimate trip – Liege – Bastogne – Liege on the Spanish roads – be a good example of how or what can be done.

Take a look at the Queen’s Stage Report:

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